Alumni Spotlight: Quaila Hugh

COL’ 16 JUPS and Sociology Majors and AFAM Minor

Presenting at the 2019 National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) Conference 

Quaila graduated from the College in 2016 as a JUPS and Sociology major with a minor in AFAM. Currently, she works for the Center for Court Innovation and uses the foundational restorative justice knowledge that JUPS gave her.

Following graduation I worked briefly at the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, reviewing the budgets of the Department of Correction, Civilian Complaint Review Board, and the City’s Commission on Human Rights. I thought if I knew where the money was going, I would better understand the motivation behind funding decisions and gain a clear sense of how to create change from the inside. I learned quickly; funding is very political (shocker) and not for me. 

I then joined the Center for Court Innovation. They had just launched a new project to test whether restorative practices in five Brooklyn high schools with high suspension rates can improve school culture and student outcomes. The hope was that through restorative practices we can build the supportive and healthy relationships that students need to thrive. JUPS was my first introduction to restorative justice. RJ is a hot buzzword in NYC now, but when I graduated barely anyone was talking about it. I could not have gotten my current job (which I love) if I did not have the foundational knowledge of what RJ is and how it looks across the globe.

If you’re considering majoring in JUPS, do it. Unless you were contemplating one of the hard sciences, I’ve never been truly convinced that your major would have any significant impact on your career. But now, almost four years out from graduation, I have modified my stance. Aside from helping me be more prepared for a job interview, JUPS is unique in preparing you for the world. If you are passionate about healing any of the many ills the world has, whether it be racism or climate change, JUPS is for you. JUPS takes a stand, unlike some other disciplines. You are not purely studying to understand. You are studying to create, improve, and transform the world we live in to be better, healthier. I found that both my studies and my peers gave me hope that change is possible.